Get Paid for Your Opinion
Did you know you can get paid for your opinion? Yes, instead of just sounding off to your brother-in-law about why you prefer beef burgers to soy burgers or how long you waited to have your knee operation, you could get involved in a focus group and get paid to air your opinion about products, policies and even educational choices.
Many focus groups focus on consumer products. You can be asked about your impressions of packaging, ad campaigns or to do a survey and take a taste test.
But there are other types of focus groups that look for input on proposed government policies or delve into attitudes about the reputation of an organization, explains Don Mills, president and CEO of CRA.
Other companies, such as MD Analytics, conduct healthcare research on topics such as diabetes, asthma, and Alzheimer’s. Consumers with the condition or disease are selected for the group and may be asked questions about awareness of particular medication, their experience at the pharmacy or their relationship with their doctor.
Many sessions are held at a research facility. Expect to be in a group of between eight and 10 people are usually in a group. The format could be a roundtable discussion, but it might also be a one-to-one interview, taste test, or even a shop-along outside the facility (evaluating a shopping experience), notes Joan Woodburn, president of Quality Response.
You’ll also most likely be asked to sign a release to allow the researchers to video and/or audio tape the session. Don’t worry, it won’t appear on YouTube. It just helps the researchers prepare a report for the client. Also, representatives from the client company often observe the session from behind one-way glass.
Because it’s decent money, some people are tempted to sign up for as many focus groups as possible. But usually market research companies limit participation to once every six months. “It’s a way to earn some extra cash; not make a living,” Woodburn says.
Market Research Companies
Corporate Research Associates